In Focus: Tottenham and West Ham set to battle for promising League One striker

According to reports in The Sun, London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United are both monitoring Walsall teenager Mitch Candlin.

What’s the word, then?

Well, The Sun says that since the 17-year-old made his bow for the League One outfit in April, he has been catching the attention of a number of the Premier League big boys.

The Saddlers academy graduate has quickly risen through the ranks at the west Midlands outfit to become part of manager Jon Whitney’s plans, and he could soon join other graduates like Rico Henry in earning a move to a higher level, if the latest rumours are to be believed.

The Sun adds that the forward only signed his first professional contract in August after impressing at the Bescot Stadium, with Spurs and the Irons both already having detailed scouting reports on the attacker.

How has he done in the Walsall first team?

Candlin’s first team opportunities have only been a few minutes here and there so far under Whitney, but he featured for 81 across five League One fixtures towards the end of last season before coming on for the last five minutes of the opening day defeat against Bury this term.

The Sun says that the six-foot striker is known for his goalscoring and impressive all-round game, and it will certainly be interesting to see if he is handed any more opportunities on the pitch as the campaign continues.

Should he leave, would he prefer a move to Tottenham or West Ham?

It’s difficult to say.

While you would think that Candlin would probably have a better chance of making the grade at the London Stadium than with Spurs, the fact that the likes of Reece Oxford and Josh Cullen are yet to get a real chance in the first team would suggest otherwise.

It wouldn’t be guaranteed under Mauricio Pochettino either, but the 17-year-old may look at how someone like Dele Alli has developed since making the step up from League One to the Premier League with the north London outfit and feel that he could do the same.